The Bruce Column — Prada takes the Chair

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12 Dec, 2011

Robert Bruce, our resident, regular columnist, provides the background to the news that Michel Prada has been appointed Chairman of the Trustees of the IFRS Foundation.

Michel Prada has taken the helm as the new Chairman of the Trustees of the IFRS Foundation. To be the guiding hand at the top of the organisational pyramid which oversees the IASB and international standard setting is a complex role. But it is a role which has shown its worth in the past. Both Paul Volcker and Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa, have amongst others, added the necessary strength and intelligent sense of mission to the task in the past.

Now it is up to Prada to help steer the organisation forward in times which continue to be uncertain. There is still a decision due from the US regulatory body, the SEC, on whether IFRS can become the norm for major US corporates. Decisions have to be made following the consultations on the IASB’s future agenda. These are not quiet times. The whole organisation will be the better for more solidity at the centre.

And Prada has the skills. And he knows the landscape intimately. He is a onetime head of the executive and technical committees of IOSCO, the international stock exchange body. He was a founding member of the Financial Stability Board. He was a member of the Financial Crisis Advisory Group which produced rigorous work on the role of accounting standards in the financial crisis. He played a leading role in the idea of European adoption of IFRSs in 2005. He chairs the International Valuation Standards Council. And he chaired the main French regulatory body, first the COB, then the AMF, for twelve years.

As Prada put it himself a few years ago: ‘The task of the IASB will be complete only if, and when, IFRS will be accepted on every financial market without local additional requirements. I also recognize that the world will continue to change and that the existing accounting standards are not etched in stone forever. But setting accounting standards is not, let me say it again, an academic exercise. It should take into account the practical aspects and realities of this world’.

Robert Bruce
December 2011

Related links

  • Our article on the announcement of Michel Prada as Chairman of the Trustees of the IFRS Foundation.

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